Tag Archives: Brian Swartz

Isabella Fogg investigated reports of Army mistreatment of wounded Union soldiers

    Isabella Fogg had already encountered the horrors of war when the slaughter known as Antietam took place on Sept. 17, 1862. Then Fogg discovered the hell that is war. Surnamed Morrison, her parents had emigrated to New Brunswick from Scotland before Isabella’s birth in 1823. Practically a child bride when she married William […]

When Confederate spooks came calling, Bludgeon the Horse got going

Neither Winsor B. Smith nor Bludgeon the Horse ever forgot that dark Virginia night when the Confederate spooks came calling. Born in Bridgton in 1842, Smith joined the 1st Maine Cavalry Regiment’s Co. K as a private in August 1862. He developed an impressive wartime resume, including a six-month stint as a Confederate prisoner. That […]

If only Andrew Bean’s trunk could talk

  Sometimes we can almost reach across history and “touch” a Civil War veteran. At least with Andrew Derby Bean from Brooks, we can touch the trunk that he took to war in spring 1861, and if only that trunk could talk, If only the trunk owned by Andrew Derby Bean could talk, the war […]

Answering the call

After Abraham Lincoln asked the loyal states to send more men to fight the Confederacy in early summer 1862, the War Department requested that Maine raise four additional infantry regiments. That meant Maine would send 4,000 men (at 1,000 men per regiment). With 15 infantry regiments already sent to far-flung battlefields, Maine would create the […]

Eyewitness to slaughter

  What was Robert E. Lee thinking? Among the battlefields preserved by Richmond National Battlefield Park, Malvern Hill is my favorite site. Standing amidst the cannons aligned east of the Crew House, I can see the open fields across which Lee hurled his infantry on July 1, 1862. These cannons, sited to approximate the Federal […]

Civil War lore comfirmed as a historical fact

The Civil War created many legends, from the eccentric VMI professor transformed into “Stonewall” Jackson to the borderline alcoholic and military strategist — Ulysses Simpson Grant — who whipped Southern troops wherever he encountered them. And the war generated a historical lore that, to this day, requires historians to sift fact from legend. One event […]

Pro-Union mob violated the 1st Amendment in Bangor

Freedom of the press – at least the press owned by Bangor Democrat Marcellus Emery – literally flew out the window on Aug. 12, 1861. By that summer, many Maine Democrats opposed the fledgling Civil War. In his 1967 graduate thesis “Civil War Bangor,” Professor John DiMeglio wrote that Democrat State Committee Chairman Marcellus Emery […]

A witness to history

Among the overlooked historical jewels in our beautiful state is the Maine State Museum, located along with the Maine State Archives and Maine State Library across the parking lot from the State House in Augusta. The museum maintains permanent and temporary exhibits. Among the permanent (i.e., “been there forever”) are “Back to Nature” (I recall […]

Orland sailor finally gets his due

Maine isn’t known for its Civil War sites. The battles took place far away, no national park extols combat on Maine soil, and tourists don’t flock here to see monuments to Civil War heroes. Yet the monuments exist, as do Maine heroes, and as for Maine place names related directly to the war, well, you […]

Post cards from Little Round Top

Dear Joshua, Sorry to hear you missed all the excitement over here on the West Side of Little Round Top yesterday. While you and the 20th Maine boys were entertaining all those Alabama and Texas lads on the East Side, me and the gang were mighty busy over here where the views are a lot […]